I am so excited because today as I welcome an unusual duo of guest reviewers. Please help me welcome author Fiona Ingram and super-dog, Champ.
Fiona Ingram is the author of a wonderful middle grade book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab which we had the pleasure of reviewing here on our site. She also blogs about the many books that she reads on her website, Word Magic: Articles & Tips for Authors. CHAMP is a rescued, 7-year-old poodle mix who lives happily for now with foster parents Suzy, Robert, and their loving family while he gets completely well. He is the co-author (along with Fiona) of his very own book, Champ, My Story of Survival, which I have the pleasure of reviewing on our site. Be sure to pop over and see what I have to say about Champ, My Story of Survival.
About the Book
Title: Tortoise Soup | Authors: Nick Holland & Byron Tinker | Publication Date: December 8, 2013 | Publisher: Kimono Press | Pages: 243 | Recommended Ages: 8+ | Reviewed by: Fiona & Champ (Author & Dog)
Summary: Ruby Tinker is an orphan, her only friend in the world is Byron the brave little tortoise. When her Uncle Peter returns from abroad their world is turned upside down. Uncle Peter takes Ruby to live with him in Scotland, but he won’t allow pets of any kind in his house. Ruby is heartbroken as Byron is left behind in the children’s home. The home is run by an evil woman called Scratbakk. She has a magic spell that will turn all of the children into zombie like slaves but there is one ingredient missing: Byron the tortoise! Byron escapes and sets out on the biggest adventure of his life. Byron is trying to reach Ruby. Ruby is trying to reach Byron. But if Scratbakk finds Byron first he will end up in the soup – a tortoise soup!
My Thoughts: Byron’s escapades are numerous, but this intrepid tortoise takes it all in stride. His enduring love for Ruby keeps him plodding onward. He meets some kind creatures (the snakes in the pet shop and the wild crane), some helpful people (Miss Tigerlily and the bin men), and even comes close to the Rainbow Bridge, where all animals wait for their owners to cross over with them. But it’s not time for Byron to cross over; he still has lots of life and fun ahead of him with Ruby. This book is about love, friendship, hope, faith, sharing and caring, and belief in a better tomorrow. Kids will quickly absorb these important life lessons, couched as they are in this enchanting story of bravery and adventure. Author Nick Holland (no doubt with Bryon’s valuable input) has created a tale where the wicked are hilariously evil; the various characters have a quirky charm; the animals stand tall, and there is such a brightness that overcomes any doom or gloom as all loose ends are neatly tied up. There is poetry, songs, and many delightful details to put smiles on the faces of readers of all ages.
Champ says: This was my very first book review as a Pawthor. Since I became a Pawthor, I realise just how important it is for people to tell other people about books. I mean, how else are they going to know how wonderful a book is unless someone tells them? That’s why I’m telling the world about my friend Byron Tinker’s book, Tortoise Soup. I met Byron on Twitter and, although he is a tortoise, he is still a Pawthor (even though he hasn’t got paws).
What I think of the book: Well, I nearly chewed my nails off worrying about Byron. He is a really brave tortoise, and he had incredible adventures (which he says are all true!). I didn’t think he would survive, especially when he met the snakes in the pet shop. Amazingly enough, so many people helped Byron, as well as other animals. But at the same time, Scotland is a long way from England and when Byron decided to walk there, I thought to myself, “He’ll never make it.” The story is just full of love and friendship, and also bravery and not giving up. I imagined myself right next to Byron as he plodded along, and when he described things, it was as if I could see them as well. I just loved how Ruby did not give up on Byron: she knew he was still alive. There is lots of wonderful magical stuff that people who love animals will enjoy. I cried a lot reading this book because Byron talked about things that were happy and sad at the same time. If you want adventure and magicality, this is the book for you. You also learn a lot about tortoises, how to care for them, and what they eat. They don’t like corned-beef-and-mustard sandwiches. I must say, I wouldn’t mind a sandwich like that, but hold the mustard please.
Fiona and Champ's Rating: ★★★★★
Fiona and Champ's Rating: ★★★★★
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